2 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Charles Mabika to Contest Zifa Presidency?

VETERAN journalist, Charles "CNN" Mabika has emerged as a possible candidate for the Zifa presidential elections set for next month.

The board elections, which have courted controversy owing to the astronomical election fees being charged by Zifa, will be held on March 29.

Mabika, who is popularly known as "CNN" owing to his vast knowledge of football, could not confirm his interest in the position, but said people were requesting for him to stand for the job.

"I have been flattered with calls from people all over the country asking me to stand for Zifa presidency. That's all I can say for now. I am still digesting Zimbabwe's failure to beat Libya in the Chan semifinals," he said.

If he decides to run Mabika will have to battle it out, with the embattled incumbent Cuthbert Dube whose image has been battered following an exposé of his US$230 000 salary at the financially struggling Premier Medical Aid Society (PSMAS). Dube was also sacked as board chairman of ZBC leading many to question his abilities to continue as Zifa president.

Though they have not officially confirmed, Harare City chairman Leslie Gwindi and soccer legend Charlie Jones, are some of the names that are being thrown around.

If Mabika successfully takes over the Zifa hot seat, he will have followed into the footsteps of German DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (Bundesliga) chief executive officer Christian Seifert who also comes from media background.

Seifert has been at the helm of German football since 2005.

Zifa has been at loggerheads with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) over the election fees which are exorbitant.

The fees had been pegged at US$10 000 for those contesting for Zifa board positions but SRC objected. They were then reduced to US$5 000, but the supreme sports controlling body still feels the fees are still beyond the reach of many and have called on Zifa to review further downwards.

However, provincial elections have already been held despite calls by the SRC to have the fees further slashed.

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